I don’t know about you, but when I’m having a stressful week, I like to do something special to vary my routine. Enter a mid-week visit to the Shake Shack. If you have never had a burger there, you must remedy that ASAP!
My first visit to Shake Shack was probably about ten years ago at their Madison Square Park location in New York City. After a tiring day spent walking around the Big Apple, I needed sustenance — and a burger joint seemed like the perfect place. Upon walking up to the outdoor kiosk in the park, I was greeted by a long line that stretched almost around the establishment. I had never seen New Yorkers waiting so patiently in my life. What was all the fuss about? Was the food really worth the wait, I thought to myself? Clearly the people in line ahead of me thought so. As a burger aficionado I decided to take the plunge and my place on the line. Reading the menu kept me occupied and made the wait not feel so long.
Once my food arrived, I immediately understood the Shake Shack obsession. The infamous ShackBurger was perfectly cooked and juicy, and when complemented with the secret Shack sauce it was irresistible.
Ten years, and a lot of fancy restaurants later, I still think the ShackBurger is one of the best there is (although I am partial to Z Burger in D.C. for filling in during my years in the District). Luckily for me, the first Shake Shack location on Long Island opened in November of 2012. Now when I need my burger-fix I only have to hop on the Long Island Expressway and head to Westbury.
My most recent visit to the Westbury location reminded me again why I enjoy going to Shake Shack so much. Usually I am there around lunch time, but I decided to treat myself to a dinner out and was pleasantly surprised by how quiet the place was. It was the first time I experienced no lines (clearly, I beat the dinner rush). I promptly ordered my usual – a double ShackBurger, vanilla milkshake and fries. Their hand-spun shakes are amazing and come in an array of delicious flavors. I can’t have a burger without indulging in one of their shakes. As usual, the meal did not disappoint and to my surprise, I was actually able to finish the double ShackBurger!
The best part of the Shake Shack experience is that the food is served fast, yet without the fast-food guilt that accompanies when you eat something loaded with calories. The fact that the burgers are fresh, never greasy and always taste great is what keeps me coming back.
If you are in New York City, I recommend stopping in at one of their various locations for a satisfying meal. They all have a different vibe, but my favorite is the one on the Upper East Side. I love how the outdoor garden area makes you forget you are in a big, bustling City and you can just concentrate on enjoying your food. If you go at lunch or dinner time, be prepared for a wait. But If you want to be savvy, check out the Shack Cam on their website beforehand to assess the lines. And although this should go without saying, I suggest arriving hungry so you can take full advantage of everything the Shake Shack has to offer.